One of the greatest world leaders of the last century died today, and I wonder if anyone noticed. I was at Johnston Hall finishing my work with the paper when the news came on the Pope John Paul II had died. I had expected the earth to shake, the sky to go black and silence to fall over the land. But when I got outside the sun was still shining in a bright blue sky spotted with puffy white clouds. People were everywhere, living their lives, playing Frisbee, going to and from the library. The only sign that anything was different from every other moment of every other day was one lonely bell tolling slowing from the tower of Johnston Hall. I thought the whole world was rather unceremoniously happy.
But maybe that's how is was supposed to be. Maybe God was reminding me that the Pope's life was a reason for celebration, not sorrow. I think it was Theresa of Lisieux who said she wasn't afraid of death because in Heaven she would be able to pray for her loved ones even more. I get the feeling that's how John Paul felt as his body began to weaken over the last few days.
Karol Wojtyla pray for us.